SDL & openGL & alpha blending

1.Why doesn’t SDL support h/w accelerated Alpha blending ? Will this issue be fixed in the future (1.3)?

2.If i use openGL with SDL, to allow me to use h/w accl alpha blending then can i still use SDL_Surfaces ? Else is it possible to put sprites in hardware memory
using openGL. Is it possible to carry out 2d graphics using openGL & using hardware memory. Does openGL allow direct use of the hardware memory & accessing video buffer pixels?

3.By the way i heard that parts of SDL are in assembly. But wont the compiler generate assembly code anyway ? Does hand coding the assembly allow more efficient code than that generated by the compiler?---------------------------------
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